Fun with stereotypes: starring Punch-Out!!

Soda Popinski

Russians: Imbibe infinite amounts of vodka, have no problem roaming shirtless in heavy snow and are genetically forced to wear red.

Popinski’s real name comes from the original arcade Punch-Out!! game, where he was called Vodka Drunkenski. The negative stereotype was likely intentional, as the arcade game was released in 1984, when the Russians were consistently portrayed as anti-American villains. Naturally Nintendo altered that for the NES release, changing his vice to soda instead of vodka.

Also, notice how his skin is ever so slightly redder than the rest of the boxers. Probably because he’s a commie.

Above: Cold War’s over, right? 

Finally, as Russian citizens, both he and Zangief have to engage in regular bouts of the Cossack Dance:

Above: In Soviet Russia… street fights you? 

Tasteful Russian trivia: The Soviet Union shocked the world in 1957 by successfully launching the first artificial satellite into space. Sputnik I is the reason we have NASA, and it kick-started the space race that ultimately led to Apollo 11’s 1969 moon landing.

Bear Hugger

Canadians: Are husky mountain men who love the outdoors, ice hockey and drink maple syrup like it’s their lifeblood.

Bear Hugger revels in his Canadian heritage, from guzzling syrup to choppin’ down trees to, argh, shaving his chest hair in the shape of an evergreen tree. We have a native Canuck in the office (one Tyler Wilde), and he had this to say about Punch-Out!!’s gross exaggeration of his people:

“This is absolute malarkey – we only directly consume maple syrup on special occasions and holidays, such as Canada Day. And even then we would never drink directly from the bottle - we use goose-shaped goblets carved from pine wood.”

Above: Tyler’s favorite thing to do 

Tasteful Canadian trivia: Basketball is typically associated with America, and those modest Canadians let us get away with it despite one of their own inventing the damn thing. James Naismith thought it up as something for his students to do during the region’s bitterly cold winters.

Super Macho Man

American celebrities: Are overly tan, materialistic narcissists obsessed with fame, money and appearance.

Super Macho Man is a parody of not just celebrities, but Hollywood and American’s fascination with celebrities in general. He’s always surrounded by money-grubbing models despite being a gold-toothed old man, and he’s constantly posing and flexing for the camera, a comment both on Americans’ personal priorities and how we constantly reward people who engage in this behavior.

His posturing is still over the top in the Wii version, but the NES Macho Man, in addition to being a bit younger, is notorious for his victory taunt, which you can now never un-see.

Above: The freakish, nipple-less Macho Man from Super Punch-Out!! 

Tasteful celebrity trivia: We’re not sure which celebrity has given the most money to charity, but we do know that Moby offers his music for free to any non-profit organization that asks for it. Furthermore, any money made off of for-profit licensing is completely donated to the Humane Society.

Next page – The Irish, Indians and Spaniards have their moment.


  • Vulneratus - December 20, 2010 4:52 p.m.

    Pretty sure the polar bear is the biggest land predator dude
  • linkganon - January 8, 2010 9:54 p.m.

    i noticed a few things like they may stereotype male teenagers as being confused (probabally) because little mac (age 17) is wearing pink sweats and hoodie whenever he is running. then they say retired boxers/coaches love chocolate bars and obsess about them. yes, i think the joke about bald bull is that he looks like a giant dick (the coach keeps implying that by saying something about he should have brought his sunglasses because the light shining from his head is hurting them. next they possibly stereotype steroid users as always being ticked off at everything. shows when the sandman rises after being knocked down. also when you press minus on the controller watch the coach, he eats his chocolate bar and for some reason you regain health.
  • gatornation1254 - May 24, 2009 5:32 p.m.

    Wow wat a great article. I think von Kaiser is the best of the best of the best sir though. reCaptha: mimicked award
  • zerolegends - May 23, 2009 3:06 a.m.

    oops stereotypes
  • Schuultz - May 22, 2009 8:26 p.m.

    It's interesting to see that the Japanese developer preferred to portray the militaristic German from the period when Japan fought Germany (WW1) instead of the period when they were allied... PS: Seriously reCAPTCHA? Klansman?
  • FierceDeity - May 21, 2009 8:31 p.m.

    wow suprised there isnt an english stereotype in there somewhere lol and also YOUR WRONG! polar bears are the largest land based carnivore not bengal tigers. plus siberian tigers are way bigger than bengals.
  • FistfulofPelican - May 21, 2009 7:46 a.m.

    I'm pretty sure Disco Kid was meant to be a gay stereotype. And what was Bald Bull anyway?
  • Rasy2kG - May 21, 2009 3:29 a.m.

    lol, I dig the Super Macho Man gif
  • Peefree - May 21, 2009 3:13 a.m.

    The Canadian one is pretty damn accurate.
  • NipplesTheSuperHippo - May 21, 2009 2:37 a.m.

    No joke, this was one of the funniest thing I have ever come across. Just enough inside jokes to Tdar with a lot of originality thrown in + Stereotypical Nintendo come together quite nicely for this. I lolz at you sir, I lolz.
  • Turbobison - May 20, 2009 10:40 p.m.

    I heard that Donkey Kong is a fighter in this game. PLEASE tell me that's true.
  • Koouunn - May 20, 2009 10:17 p.m.

    nice article
  • GamesRadarHankMotherFuckingGilbert - May 20, 2009 10:03 p.m.

    Is it just me, or does the pic of Glass Joe in front of the Eiffel Tower look kinda like Brett? I mean the jaw line and hair look kinda similar, at least in comparison with Brett's little pic at the top of the page.
  • Cyberninja - May 20, 2009 8:55 p.m.

    keep making good stuff like this love punch out first i think
  • lukel127 - June 30, 2009 6:05 p.m.

    Super Macho Man is 27. LIES!
  • Hakusato - May 26, 2009 10:38 a.m.

    For some reason I want a Scottish or Swedish stereotype in there, y'know, just to cover all the bases. Also, BORK BORK BORK I love the Irish guy.
  • zerolegends - May 23, 2009 3:04 a.m.

    Yay for steriotypes
  • NEzraF - May 22, 2009 11:34 a.m.

    I spat out my maple syrup when I read the Canadian one.
  • Japanaman - May 22, 2009 2:17 a.m.

    Man, I love these stories. You don't find articles like these in magazines. I'd love to join a site like GamesRader someday and really discuss gaming pop culture, not just write previews and reviews.
  • NorwegianKingOfNames - May 21, 2009 6:20 p.m.

    Why, when I first read the title of this article, did I think Chris Antista was behind this... Though, Brett's right; sterotypes will never get old and I hope to see GR uncover the hidden racism behind seemingly innocent games for years to come.

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